Goldsmiths University of London Financial Statements

By | 8th June 2017

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Goldsmiths University of London Financial Statements

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Goldsmiths, University of London has today (Thursday 1 December) published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2016. These are presented under the new UK Financial Reporting Standard 102 (FRS 102) and the new Higher Education Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for the first time.

On an FRS 102 basis, Goldsmiths recorded a surplus of £2 million in the year ended 31 July 2016 compared with a deficit of £5 million in the year ended 31 July 2015. The 2015 position has been restated for FRS 102 and now includes, among other adjustments, a £5.5 million expense in respect of the USS pension scheme which was not required to be recorded under previous UK accounting standards.

The results are significantly impacted by FRS 102 and a number of one-off items including in 2016 an exceptional gain of £2.3million in connection with the transfer of three halls of residence to a third party operator. The table below removes these impacts and shows that on an underlying adjusted basis, surplus has fallen from £2.9 million in 2015 to a small deficit of £0.2 million in 2016.

2016 £’0002015 £’000% change
Revenue – FRS 102 basis103,969102,5641.4%
Revenue – Adjusted basis104,076103,2130.8%
Expenditure – FRS 102 basis104,399108,425(3.7)%
Expenditure – Adjusted basis104,300100,3583.9%
Other gains and losses – FRS 102 basis2,455864
Other gains and losses – adjusted basis
Surplus/(Deficit) – FRS 102 basis2,025(4,997)
Surplus/(Deficit) – Adjusted basis(224)2,855

In order to explain how we have calculated these underlying adjusted figures, a full reconciliation of the reported FRS 102 results to adjusted results is included page 27 of the Annual Reports and Financial Statements (PDF download).

The primary reasons for the deterioration in the underlying adjusted surplus are:

  • The loss in real value of Home/EU undergraduate fees, which are fixed at £9,000 while costs continue to rise.
  • The loss of £2.2 million of block grant funding for research. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) provides Quality Related funding for research, the level of which is based on the results of the sector-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise conducted in 2014. This revenue was reduced following the 2014 REF.
  • Higher depreciation charges, reflecting the substantial ongoing investment in estates and IT infrastructure.

Income and Expenditure

Income has increased by 1.4% to £104.0 million (FRS 102 basis). This is mainly due to an increase in income from tuition fees, offset by the loss of HEFCE QR research block grant and the transfer of certain halls of residence to a third party provider.

71% of our revenue now comes from tuition fees. Of this, more than half is drawn from Home/EU undergraduates. We performed strongly in student recruitment for 2015/16, with tuition fees increasing by 9% to £74 million.

Expenditure has also risen, going up 3.9% to £104.3 million (adjusted basis). On an FRS 102 basis, expenditure fell by 3.7%, largely reflecting the impact of the higher USS charges in 2015 referred to above.

Staff costs took up the largest amount of expenditure, at 60% of total costs. The university employs 1,156 Full-Time Equivalent staff, the majority of which are academic staff.

Scholarship and bursary support given to students totalled £2.4 million.

The university supports Goldsmiths Students’ Union with a block grant of £818,000 as well as providing the organisation with other support such as estates and IT infrastructure equivalent to £0.4 million.

Balance Sheet

The largest single impact of FRS 102 is the revaluation of our land, which has added £41.9 million to fixed assets held in our balance sheet. This was partially offset by the requirement under FRS 102 to record a provision of £13.3 million for liabilities arising from the USS pension deficit recovery plan. 2015 comparatives have been restated for FRS 102 as well, so FRS 102 adjustments do not show as movements between the 2016 and 2015 balance sheets.

On an FRS 102 basis, overall net assets have fallen by 6.8% to £85 million, primarily reflecting an increase in the London Pension Funds Authority pension deficit.

The university spent £15 million on its campus, including investments in new Design studio space and new audio visual equipment for teaching rooms.

Conclusion

The report warns that the coming year “is unlikely to be plain sailing” given Brexit uncertainty, tightening immigration legislation, increasing market competition and a declining cohort of UK 18 year olds entering higher education.

But it concludes: “We remain confident that the fundamental strengths of Goldsmiths, articulated in this report, will be to our great advantage as we weather impending storms.”

Warden Patrick Loughrey said: “Our underlying financial performance has been impacted by a difficult operating environment and we have plans in place to ensure that Goldsmiths can maintain a sustainable level of surplus.

“We are optimistic about the future. Goldsmiths will continue to do what Goldsmiths does best: rising and engaging with changes and challenges through a powerful collective creativity.”

Detailed Commentary

Income

Income increased by 1.4% to £104.0 million from £102.6 million (FRS 102 basis):

  • Tuition fee income increased by 9%, from £67.7 million to £74 million, with a particularly strong performance in Home/EU undergraduate entry figures.
  • We had 7,700 FTE students last year, compared with 7,300 the previous year. FTE means Full Time Equivalent, for instance all part-time students are added together.
  • Research grants and contracts decreased by 8% from £5.7 million to £5.2 million, as some major past grants came to an end while we faced tough competition for new grants.
  • Funding body grants reduced by 22% from £13.8m to £10.7m. This was due mainly to the loss of £2.2 million of HEFCE quality related research block grant funding following the results of the 2014 Research Evaluation Framework exercise.

Expenditure

Expenditure increased by 3.9% to £104.3 million from £100.4 million on an adjusted basis and decreased by 3.7% on an FRS 102 basis:

  • Staff costs were the largest bill. The University employs 1,156 Full-Time Equivalent staff, including 590 academics.
  • Staff costs, excluding one-off items and the impact of FRS 102, have increased by 7.8% from £58.4 million to £63 million.
  • As part of part of a national agreement, staff received a 1.1% pay rise and some received promotions such as moving from Senior Lecturer to Professor. In addition, higher employer National Insurance costs and USS pension contributions started to impact from April 2016.
  • The Warden’s full pay entitlement (£255,000) is among the lowest in the University of London and is at the sector average. This level of salary was decided by a remuneration committee which includes a student. The Warden does not sit on this committee.
  • The Warden waived a £22,000 salary increase approved by the remuneration committee to bring his actual pay rise to the 1% level received by all staff. The amount waived has now been paid into the Student Hardship Fund
  • Goldsmiths Students’ Union receives £1.2 million of support from the university – a grant of £818,000 plus the equivalent of £400,000 in other forms of support such as estates and IT infrastructure.

Surplus

  • The university made a reported surplus of £2 million (FRS 102 basis).
  • This reported surplus includes an accounting gain of £2.3 million in connection with the transfer of three student halls to Campus Living Villages. The transfer saw the University receive £20.3 million of cash as a capital receipt which will be made available for campus investment.
  • The surplus left over at the end of the year is added to our reserves. Our reserves provide us with funds for long-term investment. They also give us resilience and the ability to withstand financial shocks.
  • Our reserves are retained in their entirety for the benefit of the Goldsmiths. We do not pay dividends to third parties.

Financial statements

Statutory statements